The 15th Annual Walter Rodney Symposium – Atlanta. Georgia – March 23rd – 24th, 2018

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“1968 – 2018:
Reflecting on 50 Years of Struggle”

March 23rd & 24th, 2018

The 15th Annual
Walter Rodney Symposium

At the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library in Atlanta, Georgia.

The theme for this year will be:

1968 – 2018: Reflecting on 50 Years of Struggle

More information to be announced soon.

The 15th Annual Walter Rodney Symposium will reflect on the 50th anniversary of 1968, including the 50th anniversary of one of Walter Rodney’s most important books: The Groundings with My Brothers (GWMB).

Why 1968?

1968 was a truly momentous year in the history of global social movements, a year of global revolution.

It comprised the primary year of the shift from the Civil Rights to Black Power movements and Black Consciousness; the emergence of Black and Ethnic Studies programs; the “Rodney Riots” in Jamaica; innumerable assassinations, uprisings and student movements globally; open social conflicts as seen in the Democratic National Convention in Chicago that year; the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.; the Poor People’s Campaign, and the Olympics Black Power salute which followed thereafter.     

Why Groundings with My Brothers?

The Groundings With My Brothers(GWMB) is a collection of public speeches made in Jamaica by Walter Rodney in 1968, when he was a Lecturer of African History at the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica. The text remains one of a handful of formative Black radical texts to emerge from the20thcentury, and is more relevant today than ever.

GWMB, Rodney’s ban from Jamaica and the ensuing “Rodney Riots” in 1968, is particularly important to the Caribbean and Jamaican experience of the Black Power Movement. The underpinnings of the movement and of Rodney’s contribution to it, is an important historical and ongoing struggle within the global south.

2018: The Struggle Continues

1968 was a revolutionary time and has continued to shape politics and society up until the present day in many ways. In 2018, we have much to learn and reflect on from this history, as most of the issues that were faced in 1968 are present today, some in even more pressing ways.Police brutality is unabated; white supremacy, racism and other forms of extremism are on the rise internationally; and voter disenfranchisement in the US is as deeply entrenched as ever. On the other hand, anti-war, black lives matter and other challenges to the status quo are growing. 2018 is shaping up to be a year of international solidarity and struggle, much like 1968 was.

This is a poignant time as there is a growing national/international discourse, a better understanding and a new awakening regarding inequality, injustice and persistent issues of underdevelopment. Whether related to the environment, where regions have been devastated by ‘unnatural’ disasters (e.g. in New Orleans, Houston, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico); protests to remove confederate monuments; kneeling in protest at sporting events; attacks on and dissolution of Black Studies programs.

We will have panels and guest speakers and a community groundings/discussion. Please plan to attend to collectively talk as we address these and related themes.

Save the Date of March 23-24, 2018!

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